I was happy to plan and lead a private tour in Alaska for a small group of family and friends from July 20 to August 4, 2019. We started in Juneau and then visited Glacier Bay, Anchorage, Homer, Seward, Kenai Fjords, Talkeetna, Denali, and Fairbanks. The weather was very pleasant for most of the trip, though we did get rain for the last two days. Lots of great scenery, interesting wildlife, and fun adventures; Alaska never disappoints.
ALASKA, JULY/AUGUST 2019
Common Ravens are, indeed, common in much of Alaska.
Fireweed and a glimpse of Mendenhall Glacier.
You can't drive very far from Juneau in any direction.
Bald Eagles are also exceptionally common.
Mendenhall Glacier, just outside the city of Juneau.
Beaver dam and pond near Mendenhall Glacier.
Park Service boat tour at Glacier Bay.
Beautiful weather and amazing glacier views.
Nonstop scenery on this boat trip.
Glacial blue water in the upper reaches of Glacier Bay.
Wonderful trails lead through the verdant forest right around the Glacier Bay Lodge.
We took a short whale watching boat trip at the Icy Straits.
Plenty of humpback whales here.
Bald Eagle fishing amidst the whales
Flying back to Juneau, right over the city before landing ...
then flying right back over Glacier Bay en route to Anchorage.
Fireweed and the Cook Inlet.
Common Murres also nest at Gull Island.
Glacier Bay Lodge
Cobble beach and docks at dusk
Song Sparrow, the dark northwestern coastal form
I always stop at Potter Marsh en route to the Kenai Peninsula.
The scenic church at Ninilchik is a stop en route to Homer.
Fireweed and Kachemak Bay.
Tufted Puffin near Gull Island, a short boat ride from Homer.
Horned Puffin near Gull Island in Kachemak Bay.
Black-legged Kittiwake nest at Gull Island.
We searched for salmon in several rivers and streams.
We found sockeye salmon in several places.
Next stop: Seward & a boat trip at Kenai Fjords National Park.
Scenery is everyone on this trip.
Rugged coastlines everywhere.
Several impressive tidewater glaciers.
Lots of wildlife at Kenai Fjords, this is just a small sample. L to r: Tufted Puffin, Short-tailed Shearwater, Sea Otter.
Heading north, we visited (l to r) the Alaska Native Heritage Center, downtown Talkeetna, and the Flying Squirrel Cafe and Bakery.
We got our first views of Denali from Talkeetna.
Some of the group went flightseeing for a closer look.
We then rode the park bus deep into Denali National Park.
We continued north to Tonglen Lake Lodge.
Denali was in full view, but hazy form forest fire smoke.
Always lots of wildlife at Denali: Grizzly Bear.
Gray, drizzly forest walks wrapped up the trip.
Heading home. I always recommend a window seat when flying in Alaska, the mountain and glacier views can be extraordinary.